World Series

All four games of Fall Classic place in top 12; 'Walking Dead,' 'Big Bang' lead among series

Fox has ended NBC’s demo dominance at the outset of the season, prevailing last week in young adults thanks to the opening four games of the World Series.

This year’s Fall Classic, pitting the Boston Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals, has been a good draw for the network, with the average viewership through Monday of the current week (14.1 million viewers for the five games) up 11% vs. last year’s low-rated four-game series (12.7 million) and 2% higher than the 13.8 million who were watching the first five games in 2011.

All four games landed among primetime’s top dozen programs for the week in adults 18-49, a list that was dominated as usual by AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.”

CBS had the most top 20 programs in adults 18-49 (five), but ABC, NBC and Fox were close behind at four apiece.

Also of note last week, NBC’s “Dracula,” one of the last of the new fall broadcast series to premiere, posted good numbers on Friday, meshing well with the return of “Grimm.”

Due in large part to the combination of the Friday dramas, “The Voice” and “The Blacklist,” NBC tied with CBS for first place last week in non-sports 18-49 averages — an indication that it’s not just football powering the Peacock. And for the season through five weeks, NBC is No. 1 in these non-sports averages for the first time in 10 years.

Overall for the Oct. 21-27 frame, Fox led in adults 18-49 with a 3.3 rating/10 share, followed by NBC (2.4/7), CBS (1.9/5) and ABC (1.7/5). Fox also led in adults 25-54 (3.8/10) and total viewers (11.35 million), displacing usual leader CBS in the latter.

At Fox, Sunday’s Game 4 of the World Series was its top program (4.6/12 in 18-49, 15.98m) — the largest Game 4 audience in four years. And on the scripted side in a week when “Sleepy Hollow” was in repeat, “Bones” led the way and posted week-to-wee gains for its wedding episode (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.60m), while “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” edged up (1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.77m).

At NBC, “Sunday Night Football” (6.3/15 in 18-49, 16.89m) was below average opposite the World Series, but still beat the baseball action in total viewers for the third time in the four years they have gone head-to-head.

The net NBC dominated among the Big Four on Monday behind “The Voice” (4.3/12 in 18-49, 13.69m) and “The Blacklist” (3.0/8, 10.44m) and won Tuesday with its regular lineup for a second straight week.

On Friday, “Grimm” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.15m) opened its third season with the net’s best showing in the 9 o’clock hour in nearly a year. And the premiere of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers drama “Dracula” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 5.26m) held its lead-in’s demo audience, winning the timeslot in 18-49 and 25-54.

CBS was paced as usual by “The Big Bang Theory” (5.2/16 in 18-49, 16.98m), but the newbie behind it on Thursday, “The Millers,” hit a low (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.74m) and lost nearly half of its big lead-in. Closing the night, “Elementary” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 8.72m) bounced back nicely from its series lows of the previous week.

“Person of Interest” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 13.17m) won head-to-head Tuesday over NBC’s “Chicago Fire” (2.1/6, 7.45m) for the first time, while the 300th episode of “CSI” on Wednesday (2.1/6 in 18-49, 10.45m) drew the show’s largest overall audience since April.

At ABC, “Super Fun Night” is hanging in there on Wednesday (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.79 million viewers overall), steady week-to-week and holding 54% of its “Modern Family” 18-49 lead-in (3.9/10 in 18-49, 10.32m) — up from the previous week’s 51% retention and at the same level of “Suburgatory” a year ago. Another new laffer, “The Goldbergs,” saw its first week-over-week growth in 18-49 (to 1.7/5).

On Friday, “Shark Tank” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.39m) and “20/20″ (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.60m) made for a good combo, with the former the night’s No. 1 show in 18-49 and the latter drawing its largest overall audience in 19 months.

CW’s “The Originals” dropped in same-night ratings (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.23m) but looked quite a bit different with just three days of DVR playback. In fact, it rose to its best L3 numbers to date in both (1.6 in 18-49, 3.37 million). in women 18-34, it more than doubled its same-night rating (1.9 vs. 0.9).

Similarly, its forerunner “The Vampire Diaries” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.63m) surged in L3 to season highs in both adults 18-34 (2.1) and women 18-34 (3.0).

Despite dipping week to week, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” continued its hot start to the season on Sunday (6.8/16 in 18-49, 12.92m) and has now delivered its three highest 18-49 averages over the past three weeks. Another cable drama that is beating the broadcasters in 18-49 is Tuesday’s “Sons of Anarchy” on FX (2.4/7 in 18-49, 4.38m).

Also of note, Showtime’s “Homeland” drew its largest audience of the season (2.00m); ABC Family had its best-ever Tuesday in target demos behind a special Halloween episode of “Pretty Little Liars” and the debut of “Ravenswood” (2.12 million), which drew the best premiere rating for the net to date in women 18-34 (2.3); and Discovery’s “Gold Rush” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.86m) returned as cable’s No. 1 series Friday in 18-49, 25-54 and key male demos.

NETWORK AVERAGES

Adults 18-49

Fox              3.3/10
NBC             2.4/7
CBS              1.9/5
ABC              1.7/5
UNI              1.2/4
CW               0.7/2
TEL               0.5/1

Total Viewers

Fox           11.35 million
CBS             9.45 million
NBC            7.74 million
ABC             6.77 million
UNI             3.24 million
CW              1.71 million
TEL              1.16 million

WEEK’S TOP PROGRAMS
(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 6.8/16
2.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 6.3/15
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.2/16
4.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 4.9/16
5.  World Series: Game 4-Sunday (Fox), 4.6/12
6.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 4.3/12
7.  World Series: Game 1-Wednesday (Fox), 4.2/13
8.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 4.3/12
9.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.9/10
10.  World Series: Game 2-Thursday (Fox), 3.6/11
11.  Duck Dynasty (A&E), 3.5/10
12.  World Series: Game 3 (Fox), 3.3/11
13.  NCIS (CBS), 3.0/9
13.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.0/9
13.  The Blacklist (NBC), 3.0/8
16.  Scandal (ABC), 2.9/8
17.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.8/8
18.  The Millers (CBS), 2.7/8
18.  Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC), 2.7/8
18.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.7/7

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  NCIS (CBS), 18.99
2.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 16.99
3.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 16.89
4.  World Series: Game 4-Sunday (Fox), 15.98
5.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 14.92
6.  World Series: Game 1-Wednesday (Fox), 14.40
7.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 13.69
8.  World Series: Game 2-Thursday (Fox), 13.43
9.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.35
10.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 13.24
11.  Person of Interest (CBS), 13.17
12.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 13.14
13.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 12.92
14.  World Series: Game 3-Saturday (Fox), 12.47
15.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 11.55
16.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 11.27
17.  The Millers (CBS), 10.74
18.  Castle (ABC), 10.59
19.  CSI (CBS), 10.45
20.  The Blacklist (NBC), 10.44

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